Dubai Rugby 7’s 2017 Countdown
All you need to know for this years Dubai Rugby Sevens 2017 Weekend
When it comes to taking in the action at the Dubai 7’s this week, its not all about the Flying Fijians or the Blitzbokke.
The UAE’s finest will be in action across the weekend with local bragging rights up for grabs. Here is Yalla Rugby’s guide to when and where you can find the best of the UAE action:
Gulf Men’s League
The elite competition, primarily for those competing in the West Asia Premiership, this was won last year by Abu Dhabi Harlequins as one leg of their quintuple.
The action will be spread over the course of three days, culminating in a final on the centre stage – pitch 1 – at 12:30pm on Saturday.
With eight teams featuring this year, Thursday promises to be something of a phony war as with each side guaranteed to progress to a quarter final regardless of performance in the round robin group stage.
Last year’s finalists, Harlequins and Dragons have been drawn apart and will fancy themselves to reach the latter stages once again with Bahrain looking to translate their impressive 15s form in to the shorter format. Kuwait and Al Ain will start as underdogs as the two non-West Asia Premiership sides involved – although Al Ain did make it to the semi-final stage last year and as top points scorers in this year’s UAE Conference are known to carry an attacking threat.
- Pool A – Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Kuwait Scorpions, Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes
- Pool B – Bahrain, Al Ain Amblers, Jebel Ali Dragons, Abu Dhabi Saracens
Gulf Men’s Open
The Open tournament is a fantastically cosmopolitan affair this year with sides travelling from as far afield as Syria and Sri Lanka. The holders are slightly closer to home, a Dubai Tigers side who are regulars in the UAE Conference and return to defend their title.
Amongst the challengers, both Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Jebel Ali Dragons will field strong 2s sides both of which held their own at a higher level in the Gulf League tournament last year. Though the beauty of this tournament is the 15s form book going out of the window and seeing invitational sides such as our very own Yalla Kukri emerge to challenge the established names.
The pool stages spread across Thursday and Friday this year with all sides guaranteed a knockout game on a busy Saturday. Group winners and three best runners up will enter the Trophy, remaining runners up, all third placed teams and the best of the groups back markers will compete for the plate while a consolation 16-20 playoff awaits the remainder.
- Pool A – Dubai Tigers, HPC, Amman Citadel, UAE Shaheen
- Pool B – Multiplex Bulls, Al Ahli, Damascus Zenobians, Riyadh Falcons
- Pool C – Dubai Exiles 2s, Arabian Knights, Ceylon Warriors, Muscat
- Pool D – Yalla Kukri, Red Sea Sharks, Nomads Amman, Jebel Ali Dragons 2s
- Pool E – Sharjah Wanderers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2s, Dubai Sharks, Riyadh Warriors
Twelve teams compose the women’s tournament this year, drawn in to three pools. Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Emirates Firebirds and last year’s winners Dubai Hurricanes all boast two sides.
The women’s rugby does offer a more reliable form guide with three sevens tournaments having taken place so far this season, each won in convincing fashion by Dubai Sport City Eagles who must go in to their debut Dubai Sevens as strong favourites.
The pool stages run from Thursday to Friday with the top eight sides going in to trophy quarter finals on Saturday and bottom place finishers of each pool plus the lowest ranked third place finisher competing in the plate. The finals of both will take place back to back at 15:04 and 15:26 respectively on Pitch 2.
- Pool A – Dubai Hurricanes 1s, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2s, Al Ain Amblers, Kuwait Scorpions
- Pool B – Dubai Tigers, Emirates Firebirds 2s, Sharjah Wanderers, Dubai Hurricanes 2s
- Pool C – Abu Dhabi Harlequins 1s, RAK Rugby, Emirates Firebirds 1s, DSC Eagles
Yalla Kukri Dubai 7’s Squad
For those who aren’t sure who to support at the Dubai 7’s this year… why not come and support our very own Yalla Kukri squad who will be facing the Red Sea Sharks on Pitch 6 at 17:40, Jebel Ali Dragons 2s on Pitch 5 at 20:20 on the Thursday evening and the Amman Nomads on the Friday at 19:40.
Also hoping to make an impact this year are the inaugural Kukri Cobras, a team of elite rugby 7s players selected through their achievements in the game at the highest level, from the likes of USA Eagles, England Rugby, Australian Rugby and Welsh Rugby. Be sure to check them out and join us in supporting them this year.
Article by: Huw Harrow